TERRY’S PICKY PALATE / Scallops, tuna, and hogfish at First Flight on Whitehead Street

Sampling the wares of newly opened restaurants is one of the joys of my job.
And so it was a sense of excitement that I paid a visit to First Flight Island Restaurant & Brewery, located at 301 Whitehead St. at the corner of Caroline.
Situated in the former head office of what was then called Pan American Airways, First Flight brims over with nostalgia for that bygone era, with interesting photos of the dawn of international air travel, and ceiling fans shaped like airplane propellers.
As I sat in the main dining room, with its pleasant views of the tropical garden, I had the sense that this eatery really has something to appeal to everyone, both in terms of dining settings – and in the variety of cuisine.
Owner Damian DeAngelis understandably agrees, and he set out to show me what his chefs can do.
For openers I was presented with a delicious Tuna Poke Bowl, with marinated local sushi-grade ahi tuna, white rice, pickled Asian vegetables, and a soy finish. I was left wanting more, but DeAngelis had other treats he was eager for me to sample. The house-made Deviled Eggs with fried jalapeno were simple and tasty.
Then it was on to Seared Diver Scallops, with chorizo and jalapeno corn salsa, served over basil risotto. Scallops have always been a hard-sell for me, but these were very satisfying, and definitely worth ordering again.
For my main course, DeAngelis set me up with the locally-sourced Hogfish, over coconut rice, with cherry tomatoes and a citrus beurre blanc. The fish was tender and flaky on the inside, with just the right amount of crisp on the outside.
First Flight opened in August, but had to return to the runway when Irma hit. It’s now flying high with three house-brewed drafts and a dizzying array of craft beers by the bottle or glass, as well as a wide selection of tasty pub grub, flatbreads, and delicacies from the land and sea, all set in a casual, tropical atmosphere.
Do yourself a flavor and land at First Flight today!
First Flight is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to midnight daily, with the brewery and garden dining available until 10 p.m. Happy Hour is from 4 to 6 p.m. daily, featuring $5 tapas plates,and $5 cocktails. Credit cards are accepted, and take out is available. Private parties can be accommodated.
For a reservation or more information, call 305-293-8484, or visit http://firstflightkw.com/